Masdar, Infinity Power and Hassan Allam Utilities sign MoU to develop 10GW wind farm in Egypt

The wind farm will save Egypt an estimated US $5bn in annual natural gas costs and help create as many as 100,000 jobs

Masdar, Infinity Power and Hassan Allam Utilities have signed an agreement to develop a 10GW onshore wind project in Egypt. Once complete, the project will be one of the largest wind farms in the world.

In a statement, Masdar, Infinity Power – the joint venture between Masdar and Infinity (Egypt’s main renewable energy developer) – and Hassan Allam Utilities, said that the project will be part of Egypt’s Green Corridor initiative. This is a grid dedicated to renewable energy projects, which will contribute to the North African country’s goal of ensuring renewable energy makes up 42% of its energy mix by 2035.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, UAE Special Envoy for Climate, and Chairman of Masdar, and Dr Mohamed Shaker El-Markabi, Egypt’s Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, on the side-lines of the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

In August 2022, South Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power won a $2.2bn contract from Russia’s Rosatom to build a nuclear plant in Egypt.

The UAE President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and President Abdel Fattah El Sisi of Egypt witnessed the signing of the agreement, along with HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court; HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Advisor for Special Affairs at the Ministry of Presidential Court, along with a number of senior officials were also present during the signing.

Dr Al Jaber said, “The scale of this mega 10GW onshore wind project – one of the largest winds farms in the world – is a testament to the renewable energy ambitions of the United Arab Emirates and the Republic of Egypt and demonstrates Masdar’s status as a global leader in clean energy. Under the guidance of our leadership, the UAE has been at the forefront of positive climate action in the region – and globally, as reflected in the recent US-UAE Partnership for Accelerating Clean Energy (PACE). The UAE and Masdar will continue to support Egypt’s net-zero goals, and we will endeavour to take forward the gains made here at COP27, as the UAE prepares to host COP28 next year.”

When complete, the 10GW wind farm will produce 47,790GWh of clean energy annually and offset 23.8m tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions – equivalent to around 9% of Egypt’s current CO2 emissions.

In early November 2022, JLL published a whitepaper that outlined ways to decarbonise Egypt’s built environment.

The wind farm will also save Egypt an estimated US $5bn in annual natural gas costs and help create as many as 100,000 jobs. Direct employment in the construction phase is estimated at around 30,000, with as many as 70,000 people being employed indirectly. After construction, around 3,200 jobs will be added for operation and maintenance.

Mohamed Ismail Mansour, Chairman – Infinity Power, added: “We are proud to be working on this project in association with our partners, enabling the Egyptian government to build upon their efforts to deploy effective solutions that confront the global issue of climate change. The project will enable the country to save vast amounts of natural gas; thereby attaining economic growth, reduce carbon emissions and provide greater access to sustainable energy sources, enabling Egypt to move forward in its journey towards becoming a green economy.”

Nayer Fouad, CEO, Infinity Power, stated that the project will greatly benefit the country and enable Egypt to take significant steps towards becoming a more sustainable and green nation.

Also in November 2022, Red Sea Wind Energy broke ground on a new 500MW wind farm in Egypt.

“We look forward to expanding our portfolio of sustainable energy solutions that benefit not only Egypt, but provide the entire continent with a clean, green future,” he added.

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar commented, “With this agreement to develop our largest ever project, Masdar is proud to bolster our contribution to Egypt’s renewable energy goals, while strengthening our partnerships with Infinity Power and Hassan Allam Utilities, and building on our relationship with the Egyptian Government. We are confident this project will help provide clean and sustainable energy to Egypt’s people while ensuring the country meets its decarbonisation commitments.”

In April, Masdar and Hassan Allam Utilities signed two memoranda of understanding with Egyptian state-backed organisations to cooperate on the development of 4GW green hydrogen production plants in the Suez Canal Economic Zone and on the Mediterranean coast.

Later in November 2022, Infinity Power Holding announced that its Sharm El Sheikh solar plant was fully operational.

In the first phase of the project, a green hydrogen manufacturing facility will be developed and operational by 2026, able to produce 100,000t of e-methanol annually for bunkering in the Suez Canal. The electrolyser facilities could be extended to up to 4GW by 2030 to produce 2.3m tonnes of green ammonia for export as well as supply green hydrogen for local industries.

Egypt enjoys abundant solar and wind resources that allow for renewable-power generation at a highly competitive cost – a key enabler for green hydrogen production. It is also located near markets where the demand for green hydrogen is expected to grow the most, providing robust opportunities for export.

Active in more than 40 countries across the world, Masdar is invested in a portfolio of renewable energy assets with a combined value of more than $20bn and a total capacity of more than 15GW.

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